Student Spotlight: Film Maker Hadley Hillel

The Seattle Academy community is filled with brilliant, talented, and intelligent students. Senior Hadley Hillel is just one of them. While he shines bright in the classroom, his work shines even brighter on the big screen. A film maker since the age of seven, his first appearance was at the Northwest Film Forum’s Children’s Film Festival in 2008 with his film “Dimension.” While many people struggle to find their true passion even after college, Hillel found his passion for film making in elementary school. Despite his parents being slightly horrified that their son’s chance of a steady income would decrease in the film industry, Hillel says: “I realized that I couldn’t really imagine myself doing anything else as a job when I grew up.” What many people don’t know about is the hard work that goes into making a film. Not only does the script have to be written, but sets, actors, and a crew need to be found. The entire film process is the hardest part for Hillel, including scheduling. A typical day of shooting can last anywhere between 13-15 hours a day. “During one of [those days], there was a blizzard in the middle of filming, which made what was initially a three-day shoot into a seven-day shoot.”

Although film making can be grueling work, Hillel’s films have won several awards, including the Comedic Narrative Jury Award of Excellence at the Northwest High School Film Festival in 2013, the Audience Choice Award at National Film Festival for Talented Youth in 2012, and the Dramatic Narrative Award of Excellence at the Northwest High School Film Festival in 2012. Hillel hopes to pursue his passion for film making at college. Hillel says “I hope to one day write and direct feature films.”